Kodi is powerful all-in-one software for putting in order all your local media on various devices. However, it seems highly unlikely that it can replace any of your streaming subscriptions.
Consuming visual content isn’t the same as it used to be in the earlier times. We are not dependent on television anymore to watch our favorite programs. Amazon, Netflix, and Sky have completely turned around how the audience used to view programs.
Today, people can stream their favorite content live and access it straight from the net without having to spend any storage on it. What’s more, this means that you don’t really need any cache of movies or programs.
What is Kodi?
Kodi has been in and out of too many controversy talks for anyone to have not heard of it. Kodi has been accused of being a medium to facilitate piracy. We probably shouldn’t discuss whether or not that is true, but focus more on the facts.
Kodi is basically freely available software that is open-source. The service has actually been on hand since 2002. It used to be called the Xbox Media Player at that time. In 2003, it was repositioned with a different name. Now, it had become the Xbox Media Center and this name stuck till 2014. But after 2014, it seemed that they needed a simpler name that could kick. So, the XBMC Foundation (the same one that handles and manages it) changed its name to a kicker “Kodi”.
What’s the controversy?
The controversy regarding Kodi is actually very simple. Kodi is basically open source. This means that anyone can download it, make alterations to it, use it the way they like and take advantage of it just the way they want to.
What was initially a media center has today evolved to become a super utility streaming app which can practically work on any kind of device. That means that it can PLAY almost any format of a media file. This has, therefore, become the easiest means to conduct piracy-related activities.
How does KODI work?
You can say that Kodi is a pretty smart software. It can work in two ways:
- As a central hub and player for all your home media
- As a way of establishing contact and using other content across the internet
It can be used just like you would use any app. Simply download and install it on your phone, tablet or whichever device it needs to be used on. The most beautiful thing about KODI is that it is open source. Therefore anyone can upgrade it with plug-ins and addons. No one has any restrictions with respect to licensing so, content is absolutely freely available because people can put it up on it anyhow they like.
How is this content accessible?
The videos that are streamed here are essentially stored in the form of repositories that can get linked to and used from various different kinds of website. There are different add-ons that will allow you to do different things. Say, for instance, you can index streams effectively. Users are basically given a simple interface to find content and then to watch it.
This is predominantly why people say that KODI is extremely versatile. You can have a central access point for your home media or simply a way to find other content from across anywhere on the internet just by using this app. It is simple, way to centralize and unify all your media across one place.
What the Legal scene?
So, we keep using the word KODI together with the word controversy all too often in our conversations. So, is it really legal? Kodi has gotten itself a lot of disrepute of late because it seems like it’s the preferential means of getting hands-on unlawful content.
So, what we are saying is that basically, the app itself is legal. You have all the rights to own and use the app. However, what kind of content do you access through it is completely at your discretion. There’s no telling whether that content will be legal or illegal.
Basically, you will be able to use it like a torrent program. Like we mentioned above, it is completely legal software so you can have it on your device and use it. But, the issue is that there are some add-ons that will enable the user to get access to even copyrighted content.
This piracy and plagiarism problem was handled very seriously just recently. In fact, some very big banners like Phoenix and TVAddons have had to completely shut operations. The legal pressure in certain cases can be too exhaustive.
Exactly what kind of content can you stream using Kodi?
The Kodi homepage outstandingly notifies users that it does not supply any material straightaway nor does it ignore the use of pirated media or illegal streams using its software, as made available by the aforementioned third-party add-ons. Although the software doesn’t “condone” the usage of pirated material it is not the job of the software to discriminate between legally and illegally downloaded files. The human factor is the responsible contender. The app will let you do what you want to but if you are caught doing the wrong thing, you will be held responsible.
Is KODI too complicated?
Not at all! In fact, it’s very simple. Using Kodi is just like using any other media app. You can add content to your library. To do this, you have to:
- Click on a specific content type of the left-hand menu for example movies, music, files etc.
- Now, add a source, i.e., file location with your content
- Specify a name for the source
- Specify the type of content that you want Kodi to scan for in that folder
- Pay attention to content types including music
- Such content is dependent on tags so ensure that your library is organized when you start importing it
Is Kodi going to replace Cable TV?
Kodi can be quite revolutionary when it comes to watching TV. So, one can say that people can actually watch TV on KODI. Having said that, one cannot forget that it is quite a big hassle to set it up such that it starts working. It is not at all intuitive. The first thing that one requires when they do this is to set up their own PVR or Personal Video Recorder backend apart from the client and the front end. There are many tutorials for this on the internet.
Basically, we need three things to watch live television channels.
- The Front End
- The PVR Client
- The PVR Backend (hardware)
Now, with KODI you already get the first two, which leaves you with the last requirement alone. There are some companies that sell CableCARD-compatible TV tuners that translate encrypted digital cable signals into a readable format. This, however, has one loophole. It requires an existing cable subscription.
Your CableCARD also needs to be configured by your cable provider’s technician. There is another way to go about this. You can buy a simple PCI tuner for your computer and then pull the local channels off the airways. This can be done absolutely free of cost. The best thing is that these methods are absolutely legal.
How Do I Customize Kodi?
One of the simplest ways to change the way KODI looks is by opting for a new skin in the interface settings. The two options that are the default look pretty much the same but the key difference is that one of them is optimized for touch screens. This makes it easier to use across different devices such as smartphones as well as tablets. The skins are produced and fashioned by the community. But if that makes you think that the skins aren’t good enough, then think again. These skins come with all the right kind of documentation and support for each of them across the board on all the different forums.
The profiles section is also very functional. Although there is no parental control in Kodi, it will still allow you different profiles and password protect them individually. In case you aren’t big on very minor customizations, then you will find that Kodi will easily let you make a choice between four custom settings on the interface. They are:
Content from major players
Kodi doesn’t allow or support streaming from big names such as:
Add-ins that in fact do work with Kodi. They are:
- PS Vue,
- Sound cloud,
- Fox Sports
However, this too will require you to pay for the service itself.
Speaking of conclusions
Kodi is fantastic software. It is futuristic, to say the least. It is actually more for the present times. It helps people gain access to the video content available all over the internet without any restriction. It enables the community to add to it as and when required. The only downside is probably the fact that there are loopholes which people use for piracy. But then again, there’s a loophole in everything!
Anurag Rathod is a Digital Influencer at eSiteWorld.com, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.